Are we concerned enough about the proposed tax changes?

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The proposed changes to the taxation of private corporations is still a proposal, not a completed legislation.

I was fortunate to take part of the panel on the proposed tax changes for private corporations which was held at the Hellenic Center in Ottawa by the Chartered Professional Accountants Chapter of Ontario. Ted Cook, Director, Tax Legislation Division, Tax Policy Branch, Department of Finance presented the proposed changes to a room of 150 accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, financial advisors, and portfolio managers.  We also heard from Jonathan Charron, tax lawyer, and Jacob Milosek, CPA, CA, income tax specialist probe over the ins and outs of this legislation which brought in even more concerns on all aspects of implementation.

After listening to the speakers and most importantly, the questions from the floor, the only logical conclusion is that there are still too many ambiguities for this new legislation to transpire smoothly into our taxation system. Mr. Charron & Mr. Milosek made some interesting suggestions related including planning strategies and interpretations, but the amount of work needed to overcome this important tax cost for business owners will be significant in both scope and depth.

The current proposals from the government attack the heart of what many owner managers have that is very precious to them and their families; retirement and a family legacy.  Clearly, we hope that ALL business owners will take the time to educate themselves, seek competent tax, legal and investment counsel to help them navigate these very nebulous and turbulent waters before us.